Cook Islands - Overview
Consisting of 15 islands with a total population of approximately 19,000, the Cook Islands are scattered over some 2 million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean.
AitutakiThe Cook Islands Aitutaki Lagoon, with its world-famous stunning lagoon, coral reefs and small islets, (also called 'motu '), is one of the most beautiful island lagoons in the world and situated thousands of kilometers away from any mainland or continent. Survivor Cook Islands, recently filmed there, means visitors can take the opportunity of visiting the Aitutaki Survivor locations in the atoll.
Aitutaki’s many attractions include the magnificent lagoon itself and the small islands that border the lagoon. The scuba diving is excellent, with its fringing reefs having a great deal of coral and marine life, and the coral sand beaches are second to none.
On arrival, you are greeted in true Aitutaki fashion and transferred to your Beachfront Villa accommodation; beautifully designed split-level, spacious villas perched on spectacular black volcanic rock with an outdoor staircase meandering down to the sandy beach.
Rarotonga – TumutevarovaroThe vibrant centre of the Cook Islands and the seat of government, Rarotonga is circular and dominated by high mountain peaks rising to 653 metres from which lush rain forests cascade and provide a dramatic backdrop to a palm-fringed shore. Almost completely encircled by a reef, the island harbours a lagoon of clear turquoise waters and many inviting white sand beaches. Beyond the reef, the indigo blue ocean provides a vivid contrast and a bountiful supply of fish.
The motor scooter is a popular, fun way to see the sights, however bikes, cars and jeeps are also available from local rental agencies. The "Island Bus" operating regular schedules around the island (in both directions), offers a convenient low cost method of transport. It picks you up and sets you down anywhere on request.
There are two main roads on Rarotonga - the Ara Tapu sealed road, through the villages and past the beaches; or the older, inland road, Te Ara o Toi, which winds through fields of taro, pawpaw, bananas and local farmlands.
Avarua is the commercial centre of the Cook Islands and the main town on the island. It has a friendly, bustling atmosphere during business hours, together with a good selection of shops, banks, cafes and visitor facilities.
Avatiu Harbour, a short walk west of central Avarua is a constant hive of activity, with private yachts calling in from all parts of the globe, fishing boats, diving charters, inter-island freighting and many cruise liners.
The reef that encircles the island shelters Rarotonga’s beautiful lagoon. The lagoon offers a host of activities from wind and kite surfing, sailing, snorkeling and glass bottom boat tours. The open sea beyond the reef has great game fishing and diving.International flights arrive at Rarotonga Airport four kilometres from Avarua township. There are many enjoyable activities in Rarotonga, on both sea and land, from treks into the mountains to historic walks there truly is something for everyone and every age.
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